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My Father Lessons From a Great Man
As some of you may know, our firm recently added a new slogan: “Live Intentionally, Leave a Legacy.” It’s one of those small phrases that says a lot, and the message will mean different things to different people. In the past month, I’ve been thinking a lot about how this motto applies to my own family and how it perfectly describes my father. My dad didn’t have much of a legacy when he was young. His father passed away when he was just 5 years old, leaving his mother to care for him and his five siblings. His older brother had to drop out of school to ensure they could have food on the table and a roof over their heads. “When I had questions as a young father, I had someone to call and ask for advice, but my dad just had to wing it.” In search of work, the family packed up and moved to Mexico City. While it was one of the most populous and most dangerous cities at that time, it also held the most opportunities. Everyone in the family got a job and pooled their earnings together. Little by little, their situation became more secure, allowing the kids to build a future for themselves. It says a lot about their mother, my abuela, that all six children were able to come out of poverty with successful careers. My father could afford to go to the United States for college when he was 26 years old. He had
been stateside less than a year when he fell head over heels for my mom. All these decades later, he’s still just as in love with her.
The reason I go back and recount the story of my father’s upbringing is because I want you to understand just how incredible he was at being a dad. Raised solely by his mother, he didn’t have a model for what fatherhood looked like. When I had questions as a young father, I had someone to call and ask for advice, but my dad just had to wing it. But despite that fact, he managed to be an incredible parent to my sisters and me. What defines my dad’s parenting style was how incredibly patient he was with us. He was never one to shout or get angry when discipline was needed. He was firm, but it always came from a place of love, trying to get us to understand where we went wrong and how we could do better. My dad kept his patience despite working in the high-stress medical field. He got his start as a hospital orderly but quickly rose through the ranks until he became an operating-room technician. By the time he retired, he was one of the most sought-after physician’s assistants for heart surgery in the state of Arizona. He got there by being an absolute workhorse while exhibiting the same uncanny patience that made him such a great father. Through my dad’s example, I learned just how intentional one has to be when it comes to fatherhood. It’s the most important job in my life. I hope I can impart to my kids the same lessons in hard work and dedication that he taught me. Dad, thank you for being who you were and who you are. Your consistent support and understanding helped make me the man I am today. I know I didn’t make fatherhood easy on you. Thanks for everything.
Happy Father’s Day,
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HOW MEDITATION HELPS YOU MAINTAIN BRAIN HEALTH Improve Cognitive Function inMinutes
M editation has often been touted by New Age gurus as a way to find inner peace and stillness. But what if meditating could reduce the effects of aging on your brain? According to research, taking a few minutes out of your day to meditate may improve cognitive function. As meditation’s popularity has spread, so have studies of the practice. The results of 100 studies examining the cognitive effects of meditation all show evidence of improvements in psychological and cognitive functions. Some of the results are intuitive, such as how meditation helps us deal with stress. But other results are incontrovertible, such as scans showing that meditation causes structural changes in the brain. For people facing age-related changes like memory loss, the results of these tests are especially relevant. The studies point to evidence that meditation can strengthen certain areas of the brain — the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala — that weaken as we age. The Prefrontal Cortex Your prefrontal cortex thins with age, which is associated with decreased cognitive function in your later years. However, meditation may reduce this age-related thinning. Dr. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist specializing in the effects of yoga and meditation on cognitive and behavioral function, reports that long- time meditators don’t show a decline in the thickness of the prefrontal cortex.
The Hippocampus Your hippocampus helps you process and form new memories, and it’s very sensitive to stress. In fact, research shows that your hippocampus will shrink in response to stressful situations and chronic stress. The remedy? Meditation. Dr. Lazar’s study showed a positive correlation between meditation and a higher concentration of gray matter in the left hippocampus. The Amygdala Often called the fear center of the brain, the amygdala is triggered by stressful situations. But unlike the hippocampus, which shrinks in response to stress, the amygdala has been shown to become denser. In one study, people who attended mindfulness meditation classes showed a smaller stress response in brain scans compared to those who did not attend the classes. Meditation may help to decrease the density of the amygdala and therefore increase your ability to handle stress. Of course, in addition to these benefits, there’s a good chance that five minutes of meditation each day will simply make you feel better. People who meditate report an increase in overall well-being. Why not give it a try?
Often in this newsletter, we talk about the ins and outs of estate planning, but we don’t want to lose sight of the forest for the trees. So we humbly present our values — the beliefs behind all the work we do here at Keystone:
• We believe in play dates with your grandchildren. • We believe in big family dinners. • We believe in celebrating graduations, holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. • We believe in family cheering sections. • We believe in knowing your neighbors. • We believe in taking care of each other and taking responsibility for your life.
• We believe in slow cups of morning coffee. • We believe in reading the newspaper. • We believe in card games with friends. • We believe retirement is where some of life’s best work is done. • We believe in traveling to your dream destinations. • We believe in exciting adventures and romantic moments.
• We believe in making memories that will last. • We believe in making a difference with our lives.
At Keystone Law Firm, we help people choose how they want to be remembered.
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THE 2 MYTHS OF NURSING HOME BENEFITS
No matter where you are in the United States, nursing homes are expensive. While these senior living facilities provide care and comfort in old age, many fear that signing up will break the bank, leaving nothing for their loved ones. Medicaid can make this often- necessary expense more bearable. Yet few people pursue these government benefits. There is a great deal of confusion and misconception surrounding this very important decision, which makes the process that much more daunting. With that in mind, here are the two biggest myths about nursing home Medicaid benefits in Arizona. Many people falsely believe that they have to be homeless and penniless before they can qualify for Medicaid assistance. Arizona is an “income cap” state, meaning your income as a nursing home resident must be below $2,250 a month (for 2018). However, there are exceptions for those who make more. Residents of this state have the option of putting their income into what is known as a Miller Trust. These irrevocable documents name the nursing home the primary beneficiary of your countable assets but extend the umbrella of Medicaid coverage to larger income brackets. Having an experienced estate attorney draft one of these trusts can be a good option for those who can’t afford nursing home care but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid automatically. However, if you had a previous revocable trust drafted to pass on your legacy to your loved ones, you need to keep our second myth in mind. Some folks believe that just because they designated certain assets to their loved ones in a previous will or trust, it means that those assets are untouchable when they create a Miller Trust. Sadly, this is not the case. If you want to set aside anything for your loved ones, you need to act within the confines of the Miller Trust. You have options to leave a legacy while still getting the Medicaid assistance you need. However, this takes careful planning, so starting early and having the assistance of an experienced estate planner can make a big difference. At Keystone Law, we have helped many Arizonans afford the care they need while protecting as much as 80 percent of their assets. If you’re in need of nursing home care, stop by and chat with us. Myth 1: You have to be destitute to qualify. Myth 2: Regular trusts will defend your assets from Miller Trusts.
Father’s Day Chili Lime Chicken Wings
This Father’s Day, spice up your wings with this zesty recipe that’s sure to please the
Ingredients Instructions • 4 pounds chicken wings • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened • 1 1/4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste • 1/4 cup honey • 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 lime, halved • Extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper • Chopped cilantro for garnish
1. Heat oven to 425 F.
2. Rinse wings under cold water and pat dry. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast on a baking sheet for 25 minutes or until skin becomes crisp and brown.
3. Blend butter, red curry paste, honey, and soy sauce in a large mixing bowl.
4. Toss wings in butter mixture. Squeeze lime juice on top, transfer to serving plate, and garnish with cilantro.
Inspired by foodnetwork.com
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MY FATHER HOW MEDITATION CAN HELP THE AGING BRAIN WHAT WE BELIEVE NURSING HOME MYTH-BUSTING FATHER’S DAY CHILI LIME CHICKEN WINGS 3 FATHERS WHO RISKED IT ALL FOR THEIR KIDS
3 Awesome Dads 3 FATHERS WHO RISKED IT ALL FOR THEIR KIDS
This Father’s Day, thousands of dads will receive a “No. 1 Dad” mug to sip coffee out of at the office. But the following dads took that “No. 1” to a new level. Brian Munn gave his son a liver transplant. When doctors discovered that baby Caleb Munn had a rare disease called biliary atresia, they told his parents that he was unlikely to survive past age 2 without a liver transplant. Luckily, his father was a perfect match, and he eagerly donated part of his liver in March of 2015 to save his son’s life. Greg Alexander battled a bear for his son’s life. While camping in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greg Alexander was startled awake at dawn by the screams of his 16-year-old son, Gabriel. He rushed out of his hammock to see a black bear dragging his son away by the head. Without hesitation, he kicked the beast in the side, and when that didn’t work, he leapt onto its back and
started punching it in the face. When the bear finally released Gabriel, Greg threw rocks until it fled. His son was hurt but made a full recovery in the hospital over the coming weeks. Artur Magomedov saved his daughters from ISIS. Artur Magomedov was devastated to discover that his wife had taken his 3- and 10-year-old daughters from their home in Dagestan under the cover of night, flown to Turkey, and crossed into Syria to join ISIS. But he resolved to get his kids back. After a long, hazardous journey, he arrived in Tabqa to embrace his two daughters. To leave the caliphate — under penalty of death — they hitched a ride to the border one night and crawled along a railway line until they were within 70 meters of the border. Then they ran under fire from Turkish border guards until they could scramble into tall grasses. After some help from the Russian consulate in Istanbul, they made it back home, together again and safe.
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